April 23, 2015

GM, Ford, And Others Want to Make Working on Your Own Car Illegal

One of the inherent rights of owning a vehicle is the ability to get on one’s backside — a wrench in one hand and a grease rag in the other, and just tinker to your little heart’s desire. Since the vehicle was invented, it’s been an important facet within the community of gearheads.
General Motors — the same company responsible for 87 deaths related to faulty ignition switches, FYI — wants to take that right away from you citing safety and security issues. Along with a few other big names.
It’s called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It’s been around since 2000 and started as anti-Internet piracy legislation. But automakers want to use it to try and make working on your own car illegal. Yes, illegal. The general premise is that unlike cars of the past, today’s vehicles are so advanced and use such a large amount of software and coding in their general makeup, altering said code could be dangerous and possibly even malicious. 

Listing the vehicle as a “mobile computing device,” the law would hypothetically protect automakers from pesky owners looking to alter any sort of technology in the vehicle that relates to the onboard computer. Flashing your ECU would be a big no no, which could also lead to all sorts of problems for aftermarket shops.
What GM, and even tractor companies like John Deere, argues is that you, as an owner, don’t actually own your car. Rather, you’re sort of just borrowing it for an extended amount of time and paying for the rights to use the technology. If it sounds ridiculous— it is. But it gets even more ludicrous.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Deere argued that “letting people modify car computer systems will result in them pirating music through the on-board entertainment system.”
That’s right— pirating music. Through a tractor.  

DMCA does give a little bit of leeway, though. While the act could hypothetically lock customers out of key safety features, it would still allow owners the ability to repair other areas of the vehicle’s onboard computer as they see fit. It’s a slim compromise, but one that may be more closely based in reality.
As it currently sits, there are 13 (!) large automakers on the list supporting the DMCA. Want to know who they are? Of course you do:
General Motors Company
BMW Group
Ford Motor Company
Jaguar Land Rover
Mercedes-Benz USA
Mitsubishi Motors
Volkswagen Group of America
Volvo Cars North America
Ironically, one of the brands that relies most on technology in its vehicles — Tesla Motors — in not in support of DMCA. While other American companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler all agree that working on your own vehicle should be punishable by law.


  1. Then build a vehicle that needs very little if any maintenance. Make sure that it's also affordable, otherwise kick rocks. Don't manufacture a gas guzzling, deteriorating bomb, then fleece us at the service department. The nerve of these greedy pigs.

  2. I dont bye a Merc for ONE reason, not that their cars arent good to drive or comfortable to sitt in, nor their engines or transmittions witch are above average, but the fact that they cant repear their own f...... whicles.

    Should I use thousands of dollars to idiots running in circles, and find faults, forces you to go to them to fix idioticly simple things as a Eart fault, tuning engines, a massive amount of cheep elecronics whom is crashing just by slaming the door shutt, just as BMW owners, and so on.
    I am NOT impressed.

    The Japs are better, the Koreans are even better than the Japs, where at least the car starts every day.
    The only good european is Skoda, the only one I recomend to others, the rest, if you are stinking ritch and can follow the shit car with its massive bills, payed to repear cars where quallity is a thing of the past.

    The rest is shait.

    And this confirms my dream wihicle, its going to be either or both, a dunkey and a moped.
    Cars are becoming an economical curse, the quallity pure manure, exept the price is massive.


  3. A recent ruling that cash you have on deposit in your friendly local bank does not belong to you once deposited, that what you believe was deposited for safekeeping is in reality a loan to the bank. You have become a creditor, AN UNSECURED CREDITOR. Therefore, by law, in
    the insolvency of a bank, you as an unsecured creditor stand last in
    the queue of creditors to be paid out of any funds and or assets which
    the bank has to pay its creditors.

    What makes anyone think the sociopath/psychopath criminals that run the world would allow you to actually own the vehicle you are paying for/have fully paid for?

  4. That was already accomplished, way back in 1937, the car that was created by diktat for its affordability and reliability.

  5. I get it, people are upset with the current administration. They are now forcing us to buy things. You don't buy, you get fined, or taxed. It's bad.

    We have to let these automakers know right now that we will not buy their products if we don't have a say in how we are treated.

    The problem is when people continue to accept this crap.

    Here is the compromise. It's illegal to fix your crappy product fitted with limited life parts and components? General Motors, and all other automakers who support this BS covers all maintenance for the life of the original loan, or 5 years for cash purchase. After that, you have the option to sell the lemon back, they buy the lemon back, certify it, put it on the used car market, at which time they pay 80%, and the used car buyer pays 20% of the maintenance. If the buyer chooses not to sell the auto back, the automakers drop their legal mumbo jumbo, and the buyer assumes responsibility for all maintenance costs, or purchase a long term warranty after 5 years.

    comments please

  6. And then they are caught red-handed intentionally making parts that fail or choosing to use parts they know will fail.

  7. Technology is communism.

  8. Crysis, please allow me to introduce you to Elio. I think you'll like it: